Beans falling out during roast?


#1

Heeeeelp!! Trying to season the drum, first roast. Panicking. Beans are falling out of the drum while roasting, happened like 5 sec into the roast. Manual doesn’t mention anything about it, no hits on google.

According to instructions I checked that the drum is seated correctly, it looks that way, even so I tried “pullling it” gently toward me just to check and it didn’t budge. So I assumed everything was fine, but maybe not. What to do?

PS: Door was definitely in place before roasting and the door knob is secured correctly, the screw was not protruding on the other side.

Edit1: Roaster finally cooled down and off, allowing me to inspect further. It seems by design there is a small space between the door and the drum, and beneath that space is a sort of chute that leads into the cooling basket. So it wasn’t the door that was open causing beans to fall out, it’s the small space between the door and the drum. I wonder if this is normal? Or maybe I for some reason have a wrong drum position so the space is too wide.

Edit2: So after watching youtube videos etc., I felt comfortable enough to start again. This time - so far (1:41 in) no beans have fallen out. However there are some loud knocks on the bean door, and I can see it move & lift out quite a bit (3-4mm) when it happens. I think this is what causes the beans to escape sometimes. Can someone tell me if this is normal? Should the bean door stay closed all the way or is it normal for it to wiggle like that?

Edit3: Third seasoning roast complete, I hit 245C and finished the roast with no beans falling out. So it seems the machine has somehow fixed the error that was causing falling beans in the beginning. The “door knocking” has also almost stopped now.

Edit4: For future readers! Don’t worry about beans falling out, it will correct itself after you finish 4-5 roasts. Also there is an alarm going off (A-02 I believe) if you don’t touch the panel for 2 minutes while roasting, just touch any button and it disappears. Completely normal - though the manual could do a much better job of preparing you for it.


#2

When checking the drum positioning to the bearing in the front plate, you should be able to press on the drum axle and see/feel a very small amount (approx 1mm) of rearward movement of the axle. Here is an excellent video that Tom provided over at Sweet Marias on this very subject. By Tom’s observation, if the drum is not positioned correctly it will also be quite hard to turn.

Bullet Troubleshooting

The drum does (normally) have a small gap at the front that will allow chaff from the beans to exit below the front of the drum. I’ve never had a bean come through that small gap. However, if for some reason that allowable gap was not properly set at the factory, and the drum is correctly set into the front bearing, a shim might be needed. I’d contact Aillio on that one before doing anything.

You will occasionally hear thumps and bumps from a bean(s) that get caught between the drum and the slight gap to the door. With my Bullet, that clears itself up within a few rotations of the drum. If a bean is small enough, I have seen it lodge in the gap between the bottom of the drum and the Bullet’s exterior housing. I’ve seen that a few times when I’ve opened the door to drop the roast. I just use a small pick to pop the bean out of where it has lodged.


#3

Thanks! Yes I watched quite a few of Sweet Marias youtube vids on the bullets, they’re great (if not the only viable ones).

But that clip you linked was new, and it’s quite reassuring to see - my issue was not drum out of place, looking at that vid. I don’t know exactly what caused the issue, but it seems to have cleared itself out. I only now have occasional soft bumps like you describe, nothing like I saw at the beginning of roast 1 and intermittently at roast 2.


#4

Good to hear that you are getting the “seasoning” underway. :+1:


#5

One time I had beans fall out of the door when charging a roast…I dumped them all and learned that I had a small bean from a previous roast get caught behind the door so that it wasn’t closed quite tightly enough. I removed the bean and charged using the same dumped beans and the coffee was fine.

I’m usually move observant, but had let this happen. Since it was one of my early roasts, I was very concerned until I figured it out.

I’m glad you are getting your roaster seasoned and getting familiar with its operation.

Enjoy!


#6

This is going to sound lame, but seasoning the drum does make a difference in issues like beans dropping out. For some odd reason beans can jam along the front edge of the drum. Makes a horrible noise and I’ve had the door pop a tiny bit. No more than a couple beans. The more I use the Bullet, the fewer the instances. I have no excuse why a seasoned drum should act differently than a new(ish) drum, but it does. As I recall there’s some mention of it either in the manual or possibly I read it here on Roast.World.

Bruce


#7

Yeah you must have read it here, it’s not in the manual. I read it front to back twice.

Now having done more roasts without issues I feel silly, but when you’re doing the very first roast and things seem to be going awfully wrong, sounds you dont know etc, you really panic very easily.


#8

I had the same issue - and not just during the seasoning roasts.

My ugly fix was to cut a small piece of wooden dowel rod that I jam in between the door handle and the trier handle. Install before charging; remove when roast end is immanent. I never roast without it. It’s definitely not pretty, but it works.

The only issue is if you need to use the trier. Since I never use the trier (I find it to be FAR more trouble than it’s worth), no biggie.


#9

I removed all spacers from the front of the drum… this helped with some noise, but I notice fewer beans lodging themselves between the drum and front plate now.


#10

I had the same issue when I seasoned my drum several months ago. I think that the clearances are such, that just the deposition of coffee oils on the drum are enough to prevent the smaller beans from dropping through the chute. I remember also the panic referred to by dankdane. I was even concerned when I saw chaff come out! The Bullet is a learning experience, for sure!